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Need Academic Guidance

  1. Jul 29, 2014 #1
    Good evening!

    So I am in need of some guidance. I'll go ahead and explain my background, my goals, and my dilemma's. And then I'd appreciate some thoughtful input. :) Thank you in advance.

    My background:

    Currently, I'm at a community college. I got out of the military a year ago and I'm starting my third full semester next month.

    Now, here's an important note: I have a girlfriend and two children.

    Goals: My goal has been from the start to transfer to UC Santa Cruz or UC Berkeley for undergrad and continue through graduate school at whichever school I go to. I want to focus on astrophysics.

    My dilemma: In all honesty, I will probably not be able to go to either school and will be stuck in my hometown of Merced and go to UC Merced. This is because of custody issues with my daughters' mother.

    So, my questions and the topic for which I require guidance: It's 2014 now. UC Merced has been here for a couple years and I'm wondering if any of you have any opinions on UC Merced for physics? I haven't heard much in either direction. Also, they don't have an astrophysics program. The reason I fell in love with physics was because of my obsession with astronomy. It's what I want to do.

    So what do you guys think about this plan? -- UC Merced for undergrad and my major simply being physics, UC Santa Cruz or Berkeley for grad school and focusing on astrophysics? And what do you think grad schools will say about a UC Merced degree? I feel like I am destined to be a mediocre physicist with a UC Merced degree.

    So any advice, guidance, or input you guys and gals have would be much appreciated. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2014 #2


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    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Have you looked into a program called ULink? UCB doesn't participate in it, but I think UCSC might. As a vet you can use the program to transfer to a UC school that participates after 60 credit hours. I transferred to UCSD for physics with the program, I’m also a vet.

    As far as UC Merced, I don't know anything about them. It's a UC system school, however, and they're generally some of the best public institutions you could attend. UCSC isn't too far away as well, and UCSB which is a few hours away has an excellent physics program.

    You should talk to a transfer counselor at your CC and see if UCSC participates in Ulink. That would at least lower your stress and guarantee you admission to university.

    The custody issue is something you need to figure out, if you go to UCSC you should still be able to see your kids on the weekends.
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